The shoulder is the most flexible joint in our entire body, this flexibility is all thanks to the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff and the muscles that comprise it are incredibly important to how we function in our daily lives. Injuries to the rotator cuff are one of the more frequent injuries encountered by Joint Surgeons. Fortunately, this means that much study has been done to find the most effective ways to treat injuries to the shoulder, and rotator cuff. These treatments can range from injections to surgery, and each option has its own benefits. At TSAOG Orthopaedics and Spine surgery is usually our last line of defense, and our orthopedic specialists pride themselves on using the full breadth of treatment options at their disposal.
Immobilization or rest
Strains, sprains, and tendonitis are all quite common injuries to the rotator cuff, and depending on their severity all of them may be able to heal with immobilization or rest. Simply allowing time for your muscles and tendons to recover naturally may be all the treatment that is required for these overuse injuries.
Physical therapy is another common, non-invasive treatment method for a rotator cuff injury. Physical Therapy can help restore range of motion as well as stability to your rotator cuff. If you have a frozen shoulder lots of stretching exercises can be used to help gradually restore the lost mobility.
Staying on a consistent therapy routine can help you get back to normal, without the need for more advanced treatments
Modifying regular activities may be another way to restore your shoulder’s health. There are movements that put more intense loads on the shoulder and rotator cuff. The lessening or modification of these movements can have a strong impact on your shoulder.
For instance, lifting heavy objects overhead or away from your body can put undue stress on through your shoulder and potentially lead to aggravating the joint more than it already i
Steroid injections can be useful if other methods of shoulder treatment are not yielding results. Steroid injections can be useful for reducing pain and inflammation in the joint.
With the reduction of inflammation in the joint, not only will you experience less painful movement, but it can also potentially help prevent further degradation of the soft tissue by reducing scraping on hard surfaces.
NSAIDs can also be a useful method of reducing inflammation in the shoulder, while it is normal and expected to experience swelling throughout the healing process, excessive swelling can be painful, and act as a barrier to recovery.
Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
This treatment is new, but it shows great promise in increasing recovery ability. This process takes the patient’s own blood, spins it in a centrifuge, then takes the serum with the highest platelet counts and injects it into the affected area to aid the healing process.
If you are interested in this type of treatment, ask our primary care physicians if it may be appropriate for you.
When is surgery appropriate
Surgery may be indicated if these symptoms are chronic and prevent you from living your life as you would normally. Some injuries to the shoulder may be too severe to heal naturally, for example a rotator cuff tear, a labral tear, or in some cases adhesive capsulitis.
Our surgeons are well versed in arthroscopic surgery, and we also have multiple surgeons capable of performing robotic assisted surgery with the Stryker Mako. These surgeries are meant to be minimally invasive and provide the quickest recovery times if surgery is unavoidable.
Shoulder injuries can be complicated, but getting treatment does not have to be. Allow our orthopaedic specialists to walk you through it every step of the way. Book an examination at TSAOG Orthopaedics & Spine if you are experiencing pain in the shoulder that is inhibiting your daily activities, or find that your range of motion in your arm and shoulder is restricted.